Editor’s note: On my trip to Annapolis last week, it became painfully obvious that I am very, very stupid for choosing to live anywhere else. Fortunately, there are those who do not share my imperfection. One of those people is Andy, who lives about as close to Gate 1 as my kitchen is to my driveway. He went to Friday’s JV game against perennial prep powerhouse Hargrave Military Academy, and took notes to share with the rest of us, which he posted here. He also really does live in his mother’s basement, which adds to his blogger cred.
JV Football Report
The JV squad took on Hargrave’s Post-Grad (PG) team this past Friday on Rip Miller Field. Before we talk about the game, let’s be sure we’re all on the same page. Navy’s JV squad is comprised of mostly plebes (there are 20 youngsters on the roster of 78). The JV team is also the scout team for the varsity practices. Translation: the offense rarely runs the spread option. Because of this, I won’t be offering up slams of reads or fumbles when looking at the offense. I’ll let you know what the highlights were and what players impressed.
Also, this is the first time I’ve watched a game with the intent of reporting on it afterward. That means I may (and by may I mean there is a 100% chance of it) make some mistakes or have misidentified a player. So any corrections are welcome.
Finally, Hargrave is essentially a BCS feeder program. The kids on their field are future SEC, ACC, etc. players. Last year Hargrave beat Navy’s JV team 32-4.
Ok, onto the meat of the report. Friday was a nasty day to play on Rip Miller. There was a constant light rain and a 15-20 mph wind blowing from land out to the bay. I also showed up midway through the 1st quarter, so I missed some action. Here’s what I saw:
We rotated 3 different FB’s throughout the game. #15 Austin Beaty (Friendswood, TX) was the best performer of the bunch. He carried the majority of one scoring drive and had an 18 yard TD run of his own. #43 Jarred Mack (Houston, TX) had the 2nd most carries. He was a strong runner, busting some up the middle and at times carrying defenders with him. #40 Kevin Eckel (Haverford, PA) was in for a few plays and had one impressive run of over 10 yards.
#8 Tyler Lynch (Irving, TX) and #9 Gordy Law (Berwick, PA) both played admirably given the conditions. Saw one fumble on the QB/FB mesh. Given my viewing position, it was hard to tell if there were bad plays because of missed reads or because Hargrave was just that much bigger.
Hargrave did a good job of shutting down the pitch lanes. #5 John Howell (Hatfield, PA) had a couple of good carries. He was also back for a lot of the punt and kick returns. Those were a mixed bag as well, with equal parts muffed and decent returns. Again, I can not stress enough how much of an impact the wind had on the kicking game.
Navy didn’t do much passing. There were two plays that stood out. #11 Brandon Turner (Renton, WA) had a 4 yard TD reception on 4th and goal. Navy sent him iso on the left side of the field with 3 receivers right and Lynch hit him on a short under slant. #89 Jonathan Gazaille (Grand Prarie, TX) took a pass to the flats at the line of scrimmage, put a move on his defender and busted a 10 yard gain for a 1st down. #19 Darian Hess (Largo, FL) had a great reception on 3rd and long, leaping above tight coverage to pull down a nice pass but landed on the line out of bounds.
On the two scoring drives, they were able to open holes for the FB’s and protect the QB. There was a lot of backfield penetration on the day. Chalk that up to inexperience and an overwhelming size disadvantage. Given that I have no baseline for comparison, I can’t say much more than that.
I noticed that most of the game we were running the same 3 guys on the line (at least every time I checked numbers). #72 Francis Archibald (Rye, NY) was at nose guard. But I think I wrote the wrong numbers down for our ends – I had #86 and #87, but according to the roster that’s a WR and an OLB. Regardless, the line had some good pressure, opening lanes for LB’s to get to the running backs and QB. Again, given the size difference and inexperience, I thought they performed very well.
Lots of LB’s made plays in the game. There were TFL’s, great open field tackles, tipped passes, etc. Here’s a quick list from my notes:
- #17 Keegan Wetzel (Palos Heights, ILL) had an interception in man coverage. The WR he was covering came back to the ball, but Wetzel got a great break and picked it off.
- #46 Andrew Sharp (State College, PA) had an interception in what looked to be zone coverage. He was sitting in the middle of the field and just read the QB’s eyes for a nice pick.
- #26 Josh Dowling-Fitzpatrick (Westerville, OH) and #42 Mason Graham (Brentwood, TN) combined for a pressure sack. Graham also got good penetration on another play to force an incompletion.
- #53 Craig Veech (Longwood, FL) had a great tipped pass at the line of scrimmage.
Hargrave had a great QB and WRs. Most of the damage was done in the air…had the wind not been so brutal, I think they would have been able to leverage this more against Navy’s squad. But as it was, we did have a few plays that stood out from our backs.
- #14 David Sperry (Las Vegas, NV) made a textbook open field tackle to stop what would have been a big gain.
- #4 Jordan Fraser (Chandler, AZ) had a great tackle for a loss on a safety blitz.
Not much to take away here given the conditions. With the win we were great, against it not so much. We did try one FG with the wind…about 45 yards out from that had the distance but was pushed left. And of course I didn’t write down the number of who was kicking. I think it was the same kicker who converted our only PAT – #6 Scott Blasinsky (North Royalton, OH) – into the wind.
It was 12-7 at the half and the final was 18-13. Hargrave was relatively undisciplined and penalty prone. I wouldn’t be shocked if they had 100 yards of penalties or more, including 3 or 4 personal fouls (a couple of which were unsportsmanlike conduct). They won on sheer talent and size. Like I said, this is a team that rarely runs our offense except for these games, so try to look more at individual performances than the W/L column for this one.